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Wraparound Process

Wraparound Process
. . . strength-based, individualized, needs-driven planning and service delivery


Wraparound is a philosophy of care that is based on the strengths of the child/youth and family. It is a process designed to coordinate and organize the delivery of services to children and youth with serious emotional and behavioral disorders. It is a family-centered, needs-driven, individualized, culturally and linguistically appropriate approach based on the following principles:

  • Strength-based: Focus is on assets rather than deficits. Human services have traditionally relied on the deficit model, focusing on pathology. Positive reframing to assets and skills is a key component of all wraparound planning.
  • Unconditional care: Services are changed to meet the changing needs of the child and family.
  • Normalization: Plans are focused on what is normal within the family, community and culture.
  • Owned by the parent or legal guardian: The parent/guardian is an integral part of the team with ownership of the plan.
  • Individualized: Services are created to meet the unique needs of the child and family through the Child and Family Team meetings.
  • Needs-driven: Services are not based on a pre-set "menu" of what is available. Services are a combination of existing or modified services, newly created services, informal supports and community resources.
  • Community-based: Services are provided in the community as much as possible.
  • Culturally competent: Services are tailored to the unique values and cultural needs of the child, family and culture that the family identifies with.
  • Comprehensive: Planning and services are comprehensive, addressing needs across all life domains. These life domains are: family, living situation, educational/vocational, social/ recreational, psychological/emotional, medical, legal, and safety/crisis.
  • Crisis plan: Each family develops a crisis plan with their team.
  • Outcome measures: These are identified and the plan is evaluated and modified systematically and often.

The ultimate goal in Wraparound is for the child to live an independent, fulfilling, law-abiding and constructive life in the community with minimal special supports. The most challenging aspect of Wraparound planning is to design plans that are comprehensive and therefore effective. Team members strive to accomplish this by moving beyond conventional thinking to use their resources to support the child and family.

Many times children and their families have needs that cross agency boundaries. Therefore, interagency cooperation is an integral part of the Wraparound planning process. It is essential that all services are developed cooperatively and are coordinated in a Child and Family Team [cross-reference link]. The Team shares responsibility, expertise, and mutual support while designing creative services that meet an individual's strengths and needs across home, school and community. A Wraparound Plan is continually reviewed and modified based on the child and family's developing strengths and evolving needs. Wraparound interventions are flexible because the approach is multi-faceted, taking all aspects of the child's history and current life situation into account.

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